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What to do if your pet gets lost on 4th of July

What to do if your pet gets lost on 4th of July

by Susan Wyatt


Posted on June 28, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 8:06 PM

Fireworks are no blast for many pets so the best thing you can do is to leave your cat or dog indoors (not leashed in the yard) during this holiday weekend in a safe, secure, escape-proof room of the house with comfy bed, food and water.

Also consider leaving a TV or radio on to drown out the sound of the fireworks and to provide familiar noises while you’re out.

Click here for the Paw Nation 10 tips to prevent pet fireworks fears.

But if the worst does happen, and your pet runs away, here's a plan of action. First, some tips from the Seattle Humane Society:

•Begin your search immediately. The longer you wait the harder success will come.
•Cover at least a 20 block area around your home. A dog or cat can wander miles in just a day.
•Call your pet's name loudly and often. In-between, listen carefully for a faint bark or meow that may indicate your curious friend is trapped somewhere.
•Contact all the animal shelters in your county and surrounding counties. A "finder" may take your pet to the local shelter or he may go to one that is farther away. Because your description may vary from that of the center's staff and because most shelters are required to keep an animal for at least 3 days after intake, be prepared to visit each agency at least once every day to view all the animals there, including those in holding or isolation (sick or injured pets).
•Advertise in your local papers. Offer a reward* to stimulate interest. Run your ad for at least two weeks. Read the "Lost & Found" columns daily to see if someone has found your pet.
•Talk to people, especially kids or those adults with an established neighborhood "route" (i.e. mail carriers, meter readers, UPS drivers, etc.) and show them a photograph of your pet.
•Make a "Wanted" poster. Write in large block print and attach a recent photo or rough sketch of your pet. Include the following information: Breed, age, color(s), when/where lost, your phone number, and a reward if possible.
•Leave a poster at each agency you contacted.
•Hang your sign everywhere in the 20 block radius around your home, i.e. community bulletin boards, grocery stores, schools, meeting halls, etc.
•Visit all veterinary hospitals and schools in your area. Leave a poster.
•Be imaginative in your search. In addition to yards, streets, parks and woods, try searching in shopping centers, school grounds, construction sites, abandoned buildings and crawl spaces. Leave an item of your personal clothing in your front and back yards.
•Use your car in your search. Many dogs and some cats recognize the sound of the family car. Visit your dog's favorite spots.
•Try taking your dog's best canine buddy along on your search. He might very well see, hear, and smell what you cannot.

Missing Pet Partnership and their pet detectives may be able to help you. The national nonprofit organization is dedicated to reuniting families with their pets.

If your pet has been microchipped, you have a very good chance of being reunited. Call your veterinarian and/or the microchip company right away to make sure the microchip's contact information is up-to-date.

Contact the animal welfare agency that handles strays for the area where you live and/or where your pet was lost. Below is a list of animal welfare agencies.

Seattle Animal Control: (206) 386-7387

King County Regional Animal Services, Kent: (206) 296-7387
All of King County except: Seattle, Des Moines, Federal Way, Medina, Normandy Park, Renton, Shoreline, and Lake Forest Park.

Renton Animal Control: (425) 430-7550

Medina Animal Control: (425) 454-1332

PAWS: (425)787-2500
Bothell, Brier, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, Lynnwood, Mill Creek, Mukilteo, Shoreline, Woodinville, and unincorporated Snohomish County.

Everett Animal Control: (425) 257-6000
Darrington, Gold Bar, Index, Lake Stevens, Marysville, Monroe, Snohomish, Stanwood, Tulalip, and unincorporated Snohomish County.

Edmonds Animal Control: (425) 775-4545

Des Moines Animal Control: (206) 870-6549 

Normandy Park Animal Control Services: (206) 248-7600

Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County: (253) 383-2733
Federal Way, Tacoma, and unincorporated Pierce County

Seattle Humane Society: (425) 641-0080
We have partnerships with both Renton and Medina to house their strays.